Monday, 23 September 2013

The 'Bone Caves' of Inchnadamph | Scotland Tour 2013 | Living in a Hiace Camper Van

"The 'Bone Caves' of Inchnadamph contain relics of Eurasian Lynx, Brown Bear, Arctic Fox, Reindeer (dated to as long ago as 47,000 BP), the only evidence of Polar Bears so far found in Scotland, and human skeletons dated to the 3rd millennium BC. The skeleton of a bear thought to be 11,000 years old or more was removed from the caves in 2008."

So I set of this morning in search of dinosaur bones, armed with a nylon rope ladder from B&Q, a smoky old paraffin lamp, a caged canary, and two of Lidl's imitation 'Snickers' bars (not bad in my opinion).

Waterfall and pool near the beginning of the walk

It was a beautiful fresh day as I set out, and good to get moving again - nothing like keeping active to stay in good spirits, and also to stay warm when the weather isn't the best. I made my way on up the path, along the riverside, and past the place where the water was bubbling up out of the ground. Then began climbing up towards the caves..

The view down the valley near the caves seen in the cliff

I eventually got up to the mouth of the caves - it's about a half hour walk thereabouts, and entered one of the three caves up there..

Looking out I had this view down over the valley.

The largest cave had a deep well like entrance hole in the dark at the very back of the cave - it was down there that cavers had found the animal bones. The story is that items in these caves had survived the ice age in there as everything outside was destroyed by glaciers carving out the valley.

Shining a light down there I couldn't see a lot and it wouldn't really be possible to descend into it without caving equipment. Still, being in a place like this evokes feelings of our ancient past, and gives a sense of connection to it, and a feeling of continuity. Like staring up at the endless universe on a starry night, it brings a sense of perspective to everyday life placing it within the huge scale of the earths history.

I sat down to rest and really experience the silence of the place. That's often the time that I adjust to really being where I am, and begin to notice much more what's happening around me..

A herd of deer was grazing on the other side of the valley

It began to rain again on the walk back but I'd brought all my waterproofs and it wasn't a problem. I enjoyed the walk down and the whole excursion had been just enough to give me a good appetite for a late lunch.

The hut at the bottom of the trail, where I imagine all the National Geographic type stuff happened

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If you're looking for a good map of Western Scotland and the Western Isles, the one I recommend is the 'Road 2' - this map used to be produced by OS, but they stopped doing it. You can buy it here for £4.99:

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